Monday, October 12, 2009

Iron Maiden

On Friday, we went to Amcare for a review of Rosabelle’s iron deficiency anemia – poor girl needed to endure another jab in the left hand to extract a vial of blood. Results showed that we are on the right track, her hemoglobin level is rising steadily (was 86 at the last visit), and is now 93 after 10 days of continued iron-rich foods and iron supplements. So, verdict is for us to continue pumping her with the supplements, and we’ll be reviewing her again till this magic number reaches 100, when she can then take just another 2-3 weeks of iron supplements again to build up the reserves in her body.

However, the results for her RC (reticulocyte count) ratios were not as optimistic - there was a drop to 0.08 from the previous 0.35, so the doctor called us today to advise us to take another week of iron supplements, and go to see a blood specialist (we're arranging for a follow-up at another hospital on Wednesday morning). She told us there are 3 scenarios from the results (i) the blood sample drawn at that point just happened to have an unusually large amount of immature reticulocytes, (ii) their lab tests had errors (!!!), (iii) there are blood production issues... we don't wish to think much further, and are keeping our chins up and hoping the appointment with the specialist on Wednesday will prove otherwise. We are continuing the iron supplements as the doctor said that her overall condition otherwise seems to indicate that she is responding well to the medication. So... let's see...

Thing is, our girl has now grown pretty crafty at rejecting the syringe shot of iron we feed her twice a day – she just purses her lips tightly shut, struggling with us with her mouth sealed close, and I have to pry/dig my finger into her mouth to create a gap before I can syringe the shot in, all the while taking care not to drench her newly-erupting milk teeth with rust juice in case they get stained. We are thus very vigilant in making sure she rinses her mouth properly after every dose.

She sure knows what she doesn't want...and what she wants. The other day, when I was carrying her near our bed, she kept pointing to the bed and indicating she wanted to be put down, so the moment I put her on the bed, she crawled quickly to my pillow and patted on it. I sort of guessed what she wanted (milk time!), but pretended to ask her what was it she was asking for, and Wayne came in and propped the pillow up against the bed - hey presto! Rosabelle looked at Wayne with a look of eternal gratefulness and actually clapped before heading to the pillow to continue patting on it until I sat down and nursed her, haha!

That's our cheeky girl attempting her first few steps with the walker - we've had this walker (courtesy of our ex-colleague Zhu Li) for awhile now, but she only just recently took to wanting to waddle whilst pushing it, heh!
Other tricks she's been up to of course include her perennial finger-pointing 'one' anytime we ask her how old she is (or even when she overhears other people asking how old somebody else is).
I'm not sure when exactly she picked this up, but two days ago, when she heard another mummy say '打电话' (make a phone call), she actually tilted her head and used her palm to cradle her ear/side of her face, repeating this action every time we ask her to make a call to so-and-so. She also knows how to give me a high-five and a low-five, though not with a loud, resounding clap - it's more like a slight pat on the palm, but she knows the sequence now, and at least we're teaching her the concept of high and low (like I show her 'big' with my palms outstretched, and 'small' with my fingers pursed together).

It's so fun now to see her being able to pick things up pretty fast - how fascinating!

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